5 struggles you’ll relate to if you’re an intuitive introvert

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Find my original article at Introvert, Dear.


Intuitive introverts (i.e. INTJs, INTPs, INFJs, and INFPs) in the Myers-Briggs personality system are often depicted as intellectuals and deep thinkers. They prefer to think abstractly and spend a lot of time in their inner world, analyzing ideas and looking for patterns. Many renowned thinkers who have changed history — such as Gandhi, Einstein, and Shakespeare — are thought to have been intuitive introverts. Although it seems great to be an introverted intuitive, in reality, it’s not always easy. The truth is, most of us are “ordinary” people, and we run into a lot of problems associated with our “gifts.”

Are you an intuitive introvert? Here are five struggles you can probably relate to:

1. Turning our ideas into reality

For us, it’s a fun, exciting mental exercise to think of new ideas. But in reality, implementing those ideas is a lot harder. This is because we often spend so much time in our heads instead of taking action. The Nike “just do it” motto is not something that resonates with many of us. We prefer to spend our time contemplating, and when we do take action, we want it to be purposeful and aligned with our ideals. On top of this, it doesn’t help that our ideas can be quite removed from reality because they are abstract. So in the end, we have a lot of ideas that sit there, collecting dust, not serving a practical purpose. To overcome this, instead of always focusing on the big picture, we need to learn how to focus on the small steps that will help us achieve our vision.

2. Finding stimulating work

As idealists, it’s hard to find work that’s fulfilling. Reality forces us to focus on the details of daily necessities, such as picking up groceries and thinking about what to wear the next day to work or school. Also, as intuitives, we want to be mentally stimulated and intellectually challenged, ideally so that we’re constantly learning and growing. Repetitive tasks that serve little purpose — like answering emails, filling out reports, or other mundane tasks — stifle us. We crave work that engenders a profound sense of meaning and freedom, where we have the autonomy to implement our own ideas.

3. Not living in the moment

As introverts and idealists, we may get so lost in our thoughts that we forget to come back to earth. Sometimes we need to be reminded to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, such as savoring a good meal, going for a walk in nature, or simply paying attention to what’s happening in our immediate environment. The Book of Awesome, by Neil Pasricha, has many great examples of the little joys in life that are often overlooked. Getting out of our heads can help put an end to the stress that comes with negative overthinking — as well makes sure we don’t walk into a puddle or bump into people because we’re so busy contemplating.

4. Overanalyzing things

Instead of taking things at face value, many intuitive introverts analyze everything. This can make our brains run on overdrive; and in the end, we usually don’t even get the results we were hoping for. Whether we’re obsessively analyzing a social interaction or trying to rationalize our panicked thoughts, this analysis can prevent us from doing anything constructive. We can process lots of information with depth, which results in a tendency to overload more quickly than others. When this happens, we need to give ourselves a break and distance ourselves from our thoughts by doing something more physical and grounded. Try working out at the gym, going for a walk, or playing your favorite sport. Another way to prevent ourselves from overthinking is to assess whether or not our problems have an impact in the grand scheme of things.

5. Connecting with people

It can be a lonely existence to be an intuitive introvert. Many of us feel alienated because we struggle to find people who truly get us. We crave deep, meaningful and engaging conversations that are hard to come by, especially in this materialistic and superficial world — where reality shows and Justin Bieber dominate pop culture. And because we’re introverts and we don’t socialize as frequently as our extroverted counterparts, we probably won’t go out of our way to find the right connections. Unlike many people, we probably don’t make connections by going to bars, clubs, and parties. We have our unique way of finding friends, such as through joining a Facebook group, becoming a member of a book or meet-up group, where we can find like-minded individuals in a more intimate setting.

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My next “one” thing

It’s been a while since I’ve written a non-INFP post. Beyond my four letter code, that designates me as one of the personality types in the Myers-Briggs personality system, is me as an individual, and my unique experiences and aspirations. This is what this blog post is about—me.

 

Where am I today?

For the past months, I’ve been living in a cave. My work, commute, teaching piano lessons during the weekends, and completing The INFP Book has taken a toll on my energy. It also doesn’t help that it’s winter in Canada and I haven’t been getting sufficient sunlight and exercise. To make matters worse, I caught the flu this month and injured my neck after slipping on solid ice. Fortunately, my incident was not severe.

But enough with the complaints.

I feel as if my cumbersome past months has been a wake-up call for me to reassess what I want in life. I’ve realized that I’ve spread myself so thin that I was on the verge of collapsing. Or maybe I’ve already collapsed since, often times, I felt like I was zombie working on auto-pilot.

It was impossible for me to stay focused when I was trying to accomplish so many things at once. I didn’t give myself time to rest and/or try something refreshing. Not only that, I found the things that I was occupied with becoming too repetitive, dull and isolating. I didn’t give myself room to make new discoveries.

I decided to give up on some things in order to regain my energy.

It was a difficult choice for me to give up on my piano students this year, but I knew I could no longer keep up with teaching piano during the weekends. As much as I enjoyed helping kids develop a love for learning music, I also couldn’t live a life confined to my studio. I want to test my limits and learn about the world as much as I can. I also don’t believe it’s fair for my students that I did not have the energy to give them my full attention.

Now it’s time for me to focus on my career, my next one thing.

 

The “one” thing

I’m currently reading a book called The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller. The book talks about the importance of focusing on one thing in order to achieve our goals. Apparently, multitasking is a myth. People can’t do several things at once. If it seems like it, what’s really happening is that they are switching between tasks at a fast pace—like a juggler who throws and catches balls rapidly, one at a time. The problem with switching between tasks is that we end up burning out more quickly, as it takes energy to reset our circuit to focus on something else. That’s precisely what I was experiencing these past months, no wonder why I felt so drained.

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After giving myself some time to rest and to recuperate, I already feel so much better. What I need right now is to block of my weekends to read, relax, learn, and/or try something new, so that I have the energy to focus during the week.

I also think now is the time for me to grow in my career by taking on new projects and learning new skills, such as coding. I’m excited by this thought because every time I challenge myself, and try something different, I end up going to someplace that I haven’t imagined before. It’s all part of the journey.

 

So why is marketing exciting?

The reason why I’ve chosen a career in marketing because I found it fascinating how it is an industry that is constantly evolving changing with technology. When I attended The Art of Marketing conference, last year, it was exciting to learn about how artificial intelligence, data science, and VRs are – all of this tech stuff – is shaping the way brands connect with their audience. I know I’m not too crazy about the notion of materialism and selling products for the sake of selling, but I also think marketing is more than trying to sell a product. It’s also about building connections with people.

I find that all of my learnings from my work has also helped me better promote my messages so that I can make a positive difference in this world. I feel like marketing is the perfect blend of combining art, people, and technology to create a widespread movement. Whether it’s to promote a fashion trend, encourage people to vote, or to induce discussions about mental health, marketing is a tool to get these ideas across.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my repetitive tasks that I forget about the big picture or the initial reason why I was so interested in the work I do.

Anyways, I look forward to seeing what I’ll write about next. As well, I’m very excited about the upcoming release of my book. 🙂

Inspirational quotes from The INFP Book

To promote the upcoming release of The INFP Book, I’ve created a bunch of social media images for my Facebook page. I thought it would be also cool to share some of these with you here.

Happy scrolling. ^_^

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Gift ideas for every introvert, based on their personality type

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Find my original article at Introvert, Dear. 


With the holidays around the corner, you’re probably starting to create your shopping list. When it comes to finding the perfect gift for friends, family or coworkers, you might find it hard to find a gift that’s not superficial, cliché, or impersonal. To hopefully make things easier, I’ve compiled a list of some great gifts for each of the introverted personality types:

 

INFPs and ISFPs

Both INFPs and ISFPs are highly individualistic, artistic, and creative because they share Introverted Feeling as their dominant cognitive function. For them, personal expression is extremely important, and practically every choice they make is a reflection of their inner values. When it comes to choosing gifts for these types, they would likely enjoy something that is unique, one-of-a-kind, and probably a little funky or artsy, such as these elf earphones or animal bags.

ISFPs are more practical-minded than INFPs, so anything hands-on, like this gardening kit, this DIY oil painting kit, or even this starter ukulele kit will be a big hit. For INFPs, you can never go wrong with books, especially fiction, since INFPs enjoy getting lost in their fantasies. Some great books for Introverted Feelers include The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky.

 

INFJs and INTJs

INFJs and INTJs are both visionaries who can see foresee what might happen in the future. They share Introverted Intuition as their dominant function, which allows them to filter out biases to arrive at one truth and understand the deeper implications of reality. When it comes to buying gifts for these heavy thinkers, you also can never go wrong with reading material, especially books and magazines that help them understand the world better.

INTJs use Extroverted Thinking and are more concerned with organizing and arranging their ideas in an objective form, whereas INFJs use Extroverted Feeling and are more interested in creating harmony in their social surroundings and exploring ideas related to human nature. Books that may appeal to INTJs include anything by Stephen King, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, and The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. For INFJs, book suggestions include The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, or an autobiography of someone they admire. When it comes to magazines, for either type, try a subscription to The New Yorker or Time; for INFJs, give them Psychology Today, and for INTJs, try Smithsonian.

Both INTJs and INFJs use Extroverted Sensing as their inferior function, which gives them an appreciation for the finer things in life. You can’t go wrong with giving them a fine bottle of wine, an artisanal snack sampler, a high-quality art print, or a gift card to their favorite high-end clothing store.

 

INTPs and ISTPs

These two personality types are highly analytical and rational. They have a strong need to make sense of everything within a logical framework, as Introverted Thinking is their dominant function. They are interested in understanding how systems work, and they often create their own systems from scratch, such as building a drone, developing an app, or creating some kind of robot or machine. With these personality types, you can’t go wrong giving them a high-tech gadget or a gift card from an electronics store. ISTPs are more hands-on than INTPs, so a gift card from a hardware store might make their day (my ISTP dad loves browsing through Home Depot). And if a gift card doesn’t cut it, they would likely enjoy receiving this camera quadcopter hobby drone, a camera, or a computer accessory. Because they love understanding how things work, you might gift them a guide to something they already own, like this How to Cheat in Photoshop book or this home brewing how-to.

Check out sites such like Tech Crunch and Wired for news on the latest tech trends. And bonus points if you spend time with your INTP or ISTP after the holidays, letting them show you how their new gadget works.

 

ISTJs and ISFJs

ISTJs and ISFJs are generally traditional and family-oriented. They share Introverted Sensing as their dominant function, which gives them highly accurate memories and a strong attention to detail.

They also tend to be dependable, hard-working, and generous. The difference between ISTJs and ISFJs is that ISTJs are Extroverted Thinkers who value practicality and utility, whereas ISFJs are Extroverted Feelers who are caregivers who want to make everyone around them comfortable and happy. For ISTJs, you can’t go wrong giving them something practical and efficient, such as a gift card to a drug store or a department store (it may seem cheesy, but I’m sure they’d appreciate it for its utility). Or give them something that encourages their practical problem-solving skills, such as this board game or this book on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Give ISFJs something that creates warmth in their homes, such as kitchenware or decor, or something that will help them help others in a practical way, such as a comfort food cookbook like this one. ISFJs are often sentimental, so they would also value a meaningful gift that reminds them of their strong personal ties. Personalized gifts such as photo albums and would melt their heart.

 

Introvert-Themed Gifts

For any introverted personality type, you can’t go wrong with a gift that helps them celebrate their introversion and deepen their understanding of their nature. Try these introvert-themed gifts:

  • The Introvert Dreams coloring book, the first coloring book made truly for introverts, created by the founder of Introvert, Dear. Perfect for ISFPs, ISFJs, INFPs, and INFJs, or any introvert who needs to relax and feel inspired.
  • Introvert Doodles: An Illustrated Look at Introvert Life in an Extrovert World, by cartoonist Marzi Wilson. Perfect for any introverts who need a laugh.
  • The Irresistible Introvert, by Introvert Spring blogger Michaela Chung. Perfect for INTJs, INTPs, INFJs, or INFPs who want to deepen their relationships, improve their social presence, and feel inspired and understood

10 experiences INFPs will instantly relate to

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Find my original article on Introvert, Dear.


If you identify with the INFP personality type, I’m sure you’re aware of just how strange we can be. We’re described as highly individualistic, idealistic, empathetic, and reserved. With these traits come some experiences that invariably makes us feel like we are a different species altogether. Here are 10 experiences most INFPs will instantly relate to:

1. Seeing fake people everywhere.

Or at least that’s how it seems. Because Introverted Feeling is our dominant function, we value authenticity. This translates to us wanting people to be their true selves, even in public. So when people mask their true feelings or say or do things just to conform, we feel like hurling. We see through people’s fake happy smiles and we’re irritated by show-offs and superficiality. What’s even more annoying is that INFPs often become other people’s emotional dumping ground. We have high levels of empathy and can often quickly recognize how other people are feeling, so other people end up venting to us and relying on us for emotional support. The rest of the world is led to believe that they’re living the perfect life, but we’ve heard all their problems so we know the truth. Hence, we start seeing fake people everywhere.

2. Spending half our time daydreaming.

INFPs live in two worlds: our imagination and the world of reality. Sometimes we feel like characters from a fantasy or sci-fi novel who can travel through portals into different realms. We often zone out, imagining ourselves living a different life and seeing how things could be in the future, and then returning to the real world which is blander in comparison. We often drift from one imaginative experience to another. For instance, when reading a book, we might find ourselves reading an entire page and then having to go back and read it again because we were too busy daydreaming to pay attention to the words.

3. Becoming obsessed with people or projects.

When INFPs care about something, we care about it deeply, to the point that we’re afraid of appearing over-the-top hysterical about it to our friends and family. For example, we might become obsessed with someone else’s life and problems, giving quite a bit of thought to the things that would make them happy and being overly concerned with how they’re feeling throughout the day. And when it comes to an idea or a project that sparks our interest, we might become extremely devoted to it, allowing it to completely take over our thoughts.

4. Feeling anything but “normal.”

INFPs give off the vibe that we’re perfectly normal people who live ordinary lives. But that’s only how we look outwardly. Inwardly, we live a life of adventure, imagination, and emotion. But most people don’t see this because as introverts, we’re typically private and reserved. We’re like a raging sea within a rain drop.

5. Hating to have to pay attention to everyday necessities.

When it comes to day-to-day tasks such as doing chores, paying bills, and even combing our hair (hence I keep my hair short), we’d rather not have to deal with these things so we can instead have more time to focus on the big picture. Some days I wish there was a food pill so I didn’t have to worry about groceries or where to eat. It would be even nicer to have my own robot who could vacuum and do my accounting. Because we’re focused on the big picture, INFPs are often oblivious to the details of our surroundings, such as a stain on the carpet or if a tree near our lawn is missing (yes, this really did happen to me — a big tree was cut down by the city and I didn’t even notice).

6. Having strong moral values, even if we’re not religious.

Many INFPs are religious, but others are not. Whatever our spiritual beliefs are, at times, we may feel like a walking bible. We can be judgmental of people if they break our moral codes about honesty and integrity. We also hold ourselves to a high standard, and when we violate our own code, we may obsess over our failure long after everyone else has forgotten it. For instance, I’ve mentally beaten myself up for hours after I said something that might have offended someone.

7. Communicating our thoughts and ideas well in writing, but struggling to articulate them verbally.

Many INFPs are gifted in writing. We love playing with language and ideas and using our writing to explore the human condition. But even when we’re not working on our novel or composing a poem, we still prefer to write our thoughts rather than speak them. Meaning, we’ll likely send you a text or email instead of calling you on the phone. In fact, we often struggle to articulate our thoughts in the moment when talking with someone. This is because we need plenty of time to process information and reflect on how something resonates with our inner values. For instance, because I think so much and don’t know where to begin, I often feel as though I am speaking gibberish when talking to people; this only makes me more anxious, especially if they don’t have the patience to try to figure out what I mean.

8. Having too many ideas and interests, and aspiring to be many things.

Thanks to our strong Extroverted Intuition, we never seem to run out of ideas, and we’re always discovering new interests. If I had to count all the business cards I’ve had, it would be at least ten; I’ve had so many varying career aspirations, from being a biomedical engineer to an interior designer to a lounge pianist! Currently, I work in marketing, and I am always the person proposing tons of content ideas—although my agency can only implement a few. In conversation, I find myself bouncing from one topic to the next as I discover something else that catches my attention. It used to frustrate me that I had such a “scattered” brain, but now I’ve come to appreciate that this is my way of exploring new ideas and learning new things.

9. Not having figured out how to sync with time in the real world.

INFPs are always either running late or arriving ridiculously early (in fear of being late). That’s because we’re very casual about time and determining how long it takes to get from point A to B stresses us out. In high school, I always found myself running through the halls to my next class as the William Tell Overture blared from the school speaker, warning students they were almost late.

10. Finding comfort living within our bubble and relating to the hobbit life.

Hobbits — as in Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings — and INFPs have a lot in common. We both like to live in the comfort of our homes, tending our gardens, relaxing in the green hills, drinking tea, and creating a shelter from the world. Also, just like hobbits, we like warmth and comfort — but also a little adventure every now and then so we have interesting stories to tell our friends.

5 things to know about being friends with INFPs

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View my original Introvert, Dear article here.


INFPs are quiet, imaginative idealists who want to make the world a better place. Although INFPs are interested in helping people, they are also extremely reserved and maintain a small circle of friends. Many of them live by Shakespeare’s quote, “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” Below are five more things to know about being friends with an INFP personality type:

1. We may disappear into our own world for a while.

Although we value our friendships and deeply care about the people we love, sometimes we need time to ourselves for days or even months to sort out our feelings and thoughts. When this happens, we are re-evaluating meaning in our lives. There have been many occasions when I was going through some sort of existential crisis and felt the need to disappear in order to rediscover my purpose. This might entail traveling for a bit, or finding myself engrossed in my thoughts (and books) for days. After such experiences, I feel like a different person; I’m more enlightened and I have a fresh outlook on life. Often, my friends don’t know about these experiences because I keep them private. But they might notice my rekindled energy and spirit.

An example of a time when I needed solitude came after I graduated from high school. I felt lost and I needed a change of scenery. So I decided to enroll in a university that was far away from home on the other side of the country. I then became preoccupied with my philosophy studies, which I stumbled across by chance. During this time, I was out of touch with my good friends because I was trying to figure out who I was.

2. We prefer a tiny moment of real connection to hours of polite conversation.

INFPs value meaning and depth, so we do not like to engage in shallow conversations, such as gossiping, talking about the mundane and day-to-day, and all of the times that you swiped left on Tinder (with the exception of exciting cases that fall outside the norm). For us, small talk doesn’t interest us because it lacks substance and feels superficial. However, that doesn’t mean we’re serious and need to have deep philosophical conversations constantly. We like to have fun and can be quite quirky and silly. What we really crave is the feeling that we’ve made a genuine connection with you on a personal level. We want to have a shared experience with you, whether it’s through something that we can both laugh or cry about.

We also value our space and don’t need to text our friends 24/7 to update them on every aspect of our lives. Maintaining this kind of relationship can wear us out in the long run. We prefer to have fewer but more meaningful interactions than plenty of lower quality ones. The funny thing about us is that although we like to be left alone, we don’t want to be alone—we long for intimacy and find it hard to come by.

3. We get hurt easily but we struggle to articulate it.

We care for others deeply and easily become absorbed in other people’s worlds. Unfortunately, the reverse isn’t always true and we may end up disappointed and hurt when we discover that a relationship is one-sided. We value friendships that are mutual and reciprocal; anything that is one-sided is seen as inauthentic—and we despise anything artificial. For many of us, learning to let go of certain toxic people can be difficult because we are extremely loyal. However, although we do get taken advantage of, this is not always the case. Sometimes we feel like we are ignored by our friends, when in reality, they may be very busy or need some space of their own. When our friends don’t respond to our messages, we can take it quite personally and feel left out and alone. So, it’s important that we communicate these feelings and establish an understanding in order to maintain healthy relationships.

4. Sometimes we need to be encouraged to open up.

INFPs live in our heads most of the time: we like to daydream and contemplate the meaning of life. When we’re deep in our thoughts for too long, we have trouble returning to reality. We also need to experience the outer world and open up to others in order to live authentically. But we may have a hard time doing this because we are shy and introverted, so we do appreciate it when others reach out to us or invite us places. We certainly are not party people and do not like noise and crowded spaces, but we do look forward to going out every so often.

5. We are your biggest supporters and you can trust us with your insecurities.

We enjoy listening to you and helping you sort through your feelings. We’re good at picking up on people’s emotions and energy and understanding how they feel.  Because of this, we might be able to help you unravel the root of your troubles. Our idealism combined with our strong beliefs about morality enables us to see the best in you and your potential, even though you may not see it yourself. For example, even though you may feel useless and unworthy, we can see your courage and strength, and we will try to help you realize this. We also understand that people make mistakes, so rarely will we judge you. However, please know that although it brings us great joy to help you heal, sometimes we forget to set our own boundaries and end up becoming drained ourselves by carrying too much emotional baggage. This is when we need time to ourselves.

15 quotes to help you embrace your loneliness

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View my original post on Thought Catalog.


Sometimes even though we surround ourselves with people, we still feel alone. Loneliness is the human condition. It usually happens when we feel isolated and misunderstood. Although loneliness holds a negative connotation, and is often associated with depression, it’s not entirely bad. Below are 15 quotes to help you celebrate and embrace your loneliness.

  1. “Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” – Janet Fitch
  1. “Deep in my heart I know I am a loner. I have tried to blend in with the world and be sociable, but the more people I meet the more disappointed I am. So, I’ve learned to enjoy myself.” – Steven Aitchison
  1. “Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” – Henry Rollins
  1. “Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.” – H. Lawrence
  1. “Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” – Douglas Coupland
  1. “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou
  1. “When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
  1. “We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” – Hermann Hesse
  1. “When you’re surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you feel like you’re really alone.” – Fiona Apple
  1. There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron
  1. “Some nights are made for torture, or reflection, or the savoring of loneliness.” – Poppy Z. Brite
  1. “If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion, you belong only half to yourself or even less in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  1. “When we are most alone is when we embrace another’s loneliness.” – Mitch Albom
  1. “She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered ‘different.’ She did not suffer too much.” – Betty Smith
  1. “There are some places in life where you can only go alone. Embrace the beauty of your solo journey.” – Mandy Hale

20 quotes INFPs will instantly relate to

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View the original Introvert, Dear article here. 


INFPs are healers and dreamers. They see the world for what it could be, and they inspire others with their imagination and compassion. However, it’s not easy being an INFP personality type. As an INFP, you may feel like the world doesn’t understand or appreciate your individuality. You may feel like you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Because you hide your feelings, passions, and strong values beneath a calm exterior, you may struggle to make your voice heard. In spite of this, INFPs have a bright inner light that helps them overcome life’s challenges.

Here are 20 quotes that INFPs will relate to:

  1. “The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” – Janet Fitch
  1. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

  3. “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  4. “I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

  6. “I sometimes fall into the trap of doing what I think I should be doing rather than what I want to be doing.” – Bjork

  7. “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – A. A. Milne

  8. “To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.” – Adam Green

  9. “But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.” – Warsan Shire

  10. “My heart and my passions are the most beautiful things about me.” – Anonymous

  11. “Deep in my heart I know I am a loner. I have tried to blend in with the world and be sociable, but the more people I meet the more disappointed I am. So, I’ve learned to enjoy myself.” – Steven Aitchison

  12. “Sometimes, in order to follow our moral compass and/or our hearts, we have to make unpopular decisions or stand up for what we believe in.” – Tabatha Coffey

  13. “People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.” – Soren Kierkegaard

  14. “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

  15. “Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.” – J.K. Rowling

  16. “You can’t save people, you can only love them.” – Anais Nin

  17. “Once you label me you negate me.” – Soren Kierkegaard

  18. “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you.” – John Green

  19. “Not knowing where you’ll end up only makes life more interesting.” – Catherine Chea

10 contradicting things about INFPs

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View my original article at Introvert, Dear. 


The INFP personality type can feel like a walking paradox. Why is this? Well, it’s because the INFP’s cognitive functions often contradict each other. For instance, although INFPs are Perceivers (which means they prefer an adaptable lifestyle), they lead with a Judging function, Introverted Feeling (which is concerned with establishing order). Likewise, it’s not uncommon for INFPs to have strong beliefs and opinions and yet be indecisive when it comes to making everyday choices. Here are 10 more contradicting things about INFPs:

1. INFPs want to help others yet they resist human contact.

INFPs are true idealists who want to make the world a better and more compassionate place. They are highly empathetic individuals who have the capacity for deep caring. Although they are very interested in helping others, they can also be extremely reserved and private. As introverts, they need a lot of alone time to recharge, as social interactions can be draining.

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2.  They’re both curious and shy.

INFPs have a strong Extroverted Intuition (Ne) function which makes them enjoy exploring new ideas and possibilities. They are very curious when it comes to learning about the world, including learning about human nature and different cultures. However, at the same time, they can be shy and hesitant to open themselves up to people who they aren’t familiar with. This is because INFPs are conscientious, need time to reflect, and do not like to engage in shallow conversations. They take their encounters quite personally and are highly sensitive, so they may be wary about letting just anyone into their lives.

3.  INFPs can be extremely determined or apathetic. 

INFPs seem to run on an on-off switch. They can either be extremely obsessive about something or completely indifferent. That’s because Fi is their primary driver, so they are motivated by what feels right. So, if an INFP comes across something that excites them, they can become extremely passionate, even neglecting basic needs such as sleep in their pursuit. Conversely, it can be very difficult for INFPs to find any motivation to finish a task or partake in a discussion if it doesn’t spark their interest.

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4. They can be easygoing or stubborn. 

INFPs are generally easygoing and flexible, especially when it comes to making everyday decisions. They also like to entertain different ideas and possibilities, thanks to their auxiliary Ne function, and are open to looking at things from many perspectives. However, INFPs have strong personal values due to their Fi and are reluctant to compromise them. They stand their ground and do not easily surrender in the face of adversity. For instance, INFPs believe in staying true to themselves so they resist giving up their individuality and values in order to conform, be part of a clique, and/or please others. They might get bullied for choosing to be a square peg in a round hole, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

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5. INFPs are perfectionists but can also be negligent.

INFPs have high standards for themselves and their work, and they can become perfectionists. For instance, they might reread an email several times before hitting send. At the same time, as Intuitives, INFPs prefer to focus on the big picture rather than spend time working out the details of something. Likewise, sometimes they get lost in their own idealism and neglect more practical matters.

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6.  They’re unconventional and quirky, but also traditional.

INFPs are highly individualistic people who break free from the status quo. They choose their own unique pathway rather than doing what society expects of them. At the same time, INFPs can be traditional due to their strong values and sense of nostalgia. They are extremely loyal and have clear beliefs about right and wrong. They also attach meaning to things from the past because of their Introverted Sensing (Si) function, so it’s not unusual for INFPs to hold on to childhood toys, treasured collections, or family memorabilia.

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7. INFPs want to be autonomous and free, but also have stability and order. 

INFPs value autonomy and prefer to do things freely without any impediments. They like to be creative, expressive, and explore new things without being burdened by repetitive tasks and strict orders. However, at the same time, they are drawn to their inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te) function and desire some sort of stability and structure in their lives—or else things may get a little too chaotic. INFPs may find their life to be quite disorganized when they are being carried away by their imagination; they need something to ground them in reality.

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8. They feel happy and sad at the same time.

INFPs feel deeply and experience a wide breadth of emotions. They can vividly recreate experiences and feelings through their imagination. They may even experience several emotions simultaneously, such as feeling both pleasant and melancholy.

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9.  INFPs want the ideal partner, but may find themselves drawn to toxic relationships.

When it comes to relationships, INFPs may find themselves falling into one of two traps: they struggle to find their princess or prince charming, or end up in a toxic relationship. Because they are highly idealistic, INFPs may have unrealistic expectations when it comes to dating. At the same time, they are crusaders who want to save others. In doing so, INFPs may end up in an unhealthy relationship, attracting narcissists and other toxic individuals who take advantage of their unconditional empathy.

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10. They are both children and old souls.

INFPs can sometimes seem childlike because they tend to be optimistic and can see life through rose-colored glasses. In spite of their whimsical and free-spirited nature, INFPs are also old souls; they experience emotions intensely, have high levels of empathy, and can see many possibilities in a given situation. With these gifts come incredible insight, depth, and wisdom.

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A letter to any INFPs who have ever felt misunderstood

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Find my original article at Introvert, Dear. 


Dear fellow INFP,

I’m writing this letter to remind you that your gifts and talents are valuable, even though at times you may feel like the world does not appreciate you.

INFPs tend to be wallflowers: we possess a quiet, shy demeanor. However, that’s only how we appear on the surface. As an INFP myself, I know that beneath our outward layer of calm burns a passionate inner flame. We have incredible creativity and compassion that are just waiting to be unleashed, so we can make a difference in the world.

Unfortunately, we often feel misunderstood and invisible. Our dominant cognitive function,Introverted Feeling (Fi), makes us keep our deeply held values and feelings private. For this reason, we may struggle to articulate the thoughts and feelings that are the most important to us. For instance, we may experience a slew of emotions when we try make sense of all of the unpleasant incidences that have taken place in our lives. These emotions can make us feel very heavy; and because they are so complex and private, often times we cannot share them with others, which only makes us feel more isolated.

When it comes to our relationships, we also look inward. We tend to be great listeners and natural therapists. It brings us great joy to help others unravel their inner core and learn more about who they truly are. For this reason, the INFP personality type is nicknamed the “healer” and “mediator” in the Myers-Briggs system.

However, our light can attract moths and our warmth can bring parasites. Because we listen and truly care, we get taken advantage of. We may find ourselves in one-sided relationships, becoming someone’s emotional dumping ground—they do all the talking while we do all the listening. This makes us feel under-appreciated for the healing that we can bring. If these toxic relationships persist, we may become melancholy and lonely.

As INFPs, we see things differently from other personality types. We have a vivid imagination that sees the world for what it could be. Likewise, our imagination allows us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Unfortunately, most people treat us like our imagination is a bad thing. We’re told that daydreaming is unproductive and childlike. Daydreaming wastes time. This makes us feel alienated and further misunderstood. But the reality is that our detachment from the outer world stems from our desire to discover truth about ourselves and our world. We’re trying to bring meaning and inspiration to our reality.

Although INFPs are healers and dreamers, sometimes the harshness and cruelness of reality drains our energy. When we become stressed, anxious, or frustrated, our shadow manifests through our inferior Extroverted Thinking function. When this happens, we are no longer our compassionate and gentle selves; instead, we become bitter, judgmental, and extremely critical of every error we see.

For example, I can become very critical of others, especially when my core values are threatened. This causes me to feel extreme resentment towards the person who hurt me. I begin to analyze their viewpoint and attempt to prove to them why they’re wrong. If matters do not get resolved, the relationship may become damaged beyond repair.

Also, because I have deep feelings that are hidden from the surface, others hurt me without even knowing it. They say or do things that trigger very intense negative emotions. For instance, one time I tried to explain to a friend that I was experiencing internal turmoil due to my personal circumstances. Instead of getting the compassionate response I was hoping for, I was called “too sensitive, self-pitying, and ungrateful.”

What makes matters worse is I often don’t communicate how I’ve been affected by the situation. I  keep my hurt to myself. This only exacerbates the pain. Recently I’ve discovered that communicating these feelings through writing and/or finding a creative outlet to express myself helps me clear up these turbulent emotions.

I know life can be challenging for all of us at times because the world can be a cruel place. However, I believe that we face obstacles in order to become stronger. Each time we are challenged, we gain precious wisdom and insight that help us grow and reach our potential. So, if you’re feeling defeated, don’t give up. Do not let the bitterness of the world steal the beautiful sweetness and love you possess as an INFP. You can be extremely passionate about something, whether that is playing music, creating art, supporting a cause, or learning about the humanities. Believe in yourself and focus on what you love.

The world can be a very exciting place when we open up to it and let go of whatever is holding us back. I really think that INFPs are truly extraordinary because we have the inner light of our idealism combined with our strong values. Our inner light motivates us to keep going and to inspire compassion and imagination in all who we meet.

INFPs are incredibly talented and caring, and we often give ourselves too little credit because we have high expectations for ourselves. And even though other people may not appreciate or understand our deeply held convictions, that does not undermine their value. The world needs us. We might not be in the spotlight and we usually go about this world quietly, but we are shaping the world in our gentle way.

INFPs have a strong inner compass that helps us navigate through life’s ups and downs. So, even though we may appear to be lost, deep down, we’re not lost at all. We’re simply walking our own unique path. INFP, don’t let the world deter you. Keep rocking it! You’re doing just fine.

Yours truly,

Catherine

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien